Of all the tasty tasty animals out there to eat, one of my personal favorites is the noble Pig. It is wonderfully delicious and you get so many wonderful things out of the pig. Let’s look at some of the deliciousness that comes from the pig before I get to the “meat” of this little endeavor. Barbecues would look totally different if it wasn’t for the pig, not to mention the most important meal of the day- breakfast. A good ol’ Oklahoma breakfast would be incomplete without bacon, pork sausage or a nice thick slice of country ham (bone-in please for me, so I can have that delicious pork bone marrow) and is best when all three are included.
But I digress, you didn’t come here to hear me rave about my deep physical connection and firmly held belief that the pig is the perfect source of protein. Before we go further I’ll get my explaining out of the way about a couple of items in the recipe.
First, quinoa (pronounced Keen-wa) is a grain that is making a huge surge here in the States for a few reasons, chief amongst them it is a great source of fiber. Personally I love the flavor and it is very versatile and can be a great substitute for rice, and the liquid to grain ratio is exactly the same. Second, pilaf is a cooking technique and can be done to most grains; it does not (contrary to popular belief) have orzo pasta anywhere around it. Period. That is mostly done to keep costs down for the prepackaged food people and add a rice shaped filler. Now on to the good stuff.
For the Quinoa pilaf you are going to need the following:
2 Hatch green chilies, seeded and diced small (You can use the canned stuff but make sure it is drained thoroughly)
1 medium yellow onion diced small
1 bell pepper, diced small
1 ¼ cups of Quinoa (use whatever color of quinoa you like. The different colors vary slightly in flavor)
1 ¾ cup chicken stock, hot
4 Tbsp Bacon grease cold (you can use butter or oil or any other cooking fat you’d like)
Salt and pepper to taste (You’ll notice that often list these items this way. I do this because everybody’s palate is different as well as health restrictions/diets)
Now here is how you make it awesome:
In a medium sauce pot add your bacon grease to it and allow it to melt. Add the diced chilies, onion, bell pepper to the pot. Cook for 2-3 minutes over a medium high heat stirring frequently. Add the quinoa and cook for an addition 2-3 minutes or until the onions are translucent, making sure to add a small amount of salt and pepper.
Add the liquid and stir to make sure that all the quinoa is off of the sides. NOTE: Remember if you are using any instant bouillon paste (Better than Bouillon) or bouillon cubes watch how much salt you add in the last step because these things have TONS of salt added to them.
Cook the quinoa until the liquid is completely absorbed which is about 20-25 minutes.
The rest of the meal is fairly simple. You’ll be able to get 2 portions (4 slices per person) from one tenderloin.
Here is how you prepare the pork:
Slice the tenderloin into 8-9 medallions.
Take a medium to large skillet, depending on the number of tenderloins you are making, and place it on a medium-high to high heat.
Add cooking oil (or bacon grease). Season the medallions with salt and pepper. Gently place the pork in the skillet (remember that oil is HOT and will burn you) and cook for 3-4 minutes or until browned. Turn over and repeat for the other side and cook for another 3-4 minutes or longer if you like well done pork (I like my pork medium).
Allow to rest until the veggies are cooked.
The veggies are equally as easy.
1 medium yellow squash
1 medium zucchini (If you don’t like squash or zucchini, use whatever veggies you’d like)
sea salt or kosher salt – your preference
Split the squash and zucchini in half and cut them on a bias (they should look like longer half moons).
In the same skillet that you cooked the pork add a small amount of oil.
Put your squash and zucchini in the skillet, salt and saute to the point where you like them, using a spatula to move them around for even heating. (I like slightly firm squash and zucchini, not mushy cooked-to-death squash and zucchini).
Now put it all together and plate it up. This is a fairly quick and easy meal and it’s gonna impress whomever you cook for.